Monday, August 25, 2014

GAO Reports NFs Compliance with Abuse/Neglect Regulations


Dianne De La Mare


The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released a report, Nursing Facilities’ Compliance with Federal Regulations for Reporting Allegations of Abuse and Neglect, which looks at nursing facility (NF) reporting practices for abuse and neglect. According to the report, of the nursing facilities (NFs) sampled, 85 percent of the facilities reported at least one allegation of abuse or neglect to OIG in 2012. These allegations included abuse, injuries of an unknown source, misappropriation of resident property, neglect or mistreatment. Overall, in 2012, NFs reported 149,313 allegations of abuse or neglect to OIG in 2012.

The report also found that 76 percent of the sampled NFs maintained policies that addressed the federal regulations for reporting both allegations of abuse or neglect and investigation results. Sixty-one percent of NFs had documentation supporting the facilities’ compliance with the federal regulations under the Social Security Act, Section 1150B (e.g., the Elder Justice Act provisions enacted in the Affordable Care Act requiring NFs to report any reasonable suspicion of crime committed against a resident and to annually notify covered individuals of their obligation to report to the appropriate entities any reasonable suspicions of a crime). Lastly, only 53 percent of allegations of abuse and neglect and the subsequent investigation results were reported, as federally required. 

To obtain a copy of the complete report, go to https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-07-13-00010.pdf.

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